Fukui: Visitors pursue paleontology dreams

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A dinosaur model is seen inside the Horossa facility in Ono, Fukui Prefecture.

ONO, Fukui — Children energetically clink their hammers against rocks at a mountain facility in Ono, Fukui Prefecture, where visitors can experience being a paleontologist.

The facility called Horossa was built in 2017 by the local government to familiarize residents with the types of fossils found in the city. The first Jurassic ammonite fossils discovered in Japan, as well as teeth from a Tyrannosaurus species, were found in Ono.

In the about 1,000-square-meter facility, rocks ranging from the Paleozoic era (about 440 million years ago) to the early Cretaceous period (about 130 million years ago) are placed in three locations.

The hands-on experience costs ¥1,020 for adults and reservations are required. Necessary equipment, such as goggles, gloves and hammers, is available for rent. Up to two plant or shell fossils can be taken home. However, if the fossils are of scientific value, such as vertebrate teeth or bones, they have to stay at the facility.